The Server As A Party To A Lawsuit


A server is a internet company that provides hosting services to individuals and companies who want to put their website on the internet.  For example, this website is hosted on a server which is not in the state of Maryland.  Because servers do not review the materials put on their equipment by clients, and because clients will from time to time unintentionally or intentionally put materials on websites that violate someone else's intellectual property rights, servers have been named as parties in lawsuits claiming infringement.  In reaction to this situation, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on January 27, 1998, which provided a safe harbor for servers provided, among other things, the server provided notice of how a person claiming infringement could protest the infringement and the server took certain steps thereafter to deal with the claim.  This procedure seems to have resolved concerns in this area and the likelihood that a server will be drawn into lawsuits has been reduced.  However, the server must comply with the Act.  See 17 U.S.C. 512 of the Copyright Law, the details of which are too complex to be given adequate treatment here.


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